5 Home Features That Can Raise the Cost of Your Insurance
Whether you are purchasing a new home or considering adding a fun new feature to your current home, it is important to consider how various extra features affect your home insurance policy. Many features will increase the rate of your insurance or prevent you from getting insurance from certain providers altogether. Here are the five main features to look out for.
You may be well aware that installing a pool in your home may come with extra insurance responsibilities, such as requiring a gate around the pool in order to maintain your liability insurance, but what you might not know is that other water features can come with similar requirements. If you want to install a hot tub or a pond on your property, you should check with your insurance company to make sure that these features will be covered against damage and injury and that installing a new water feature will not result in an increase of your premium or the cancellation of your policy. You should also check before installing a slide or a diving board at your pool, as these are often not covered under any type of insurance.
Trampolines are considered an "attractive nuisance" by most insurance companies. Therefore, just like with water features, some companies will refuse to insure homes with trampolines altogether while other companies will charge extra for homes with trampolines. You may also be required to install safety features around your trampoline, such as a safety net or a locking gate, to prevent accidental injury to people who use your trampoline.
Both internal and external home climbing walls are becoming more popular in the United States. While most insurance companies still do not have specific rules against climbing walls, they may fall under the general category of attractive nuisances. This may depend on the size of your wall and how you use it. For example, a wall that requires a top rope and harness for safe use may cost more to insure than a small bouldering wall intended for safe child use. Furthermore, if you charge your friends to use your climbing wall, or simply leave out a tip jar on climbing nights to help pay for upkeep and purchasing new materials, then your wall might be considered a business and may not be covered by your liability insurance.
Wood stoves and fireplaces create an extra fire hazard in a home. Keeping your chimney and pipes properly cleaned and having your stove or fireplace installed with proper safety considerations including adequate spacing from walls and furniture will make it so your home can be covered even if it has one of these features. However, your policy will generally cost more than one would for a home that is heated with electricity or gas.
Tree houses range from a simple, small club house for your children to a full-scale addition to your home. Before you build either type of tree house, you should consult with your insurance company to make sure that the tree house will be covered under your current policy and to make adjustments to your current premium if necessary. Just like with trampolines and pools, certain safe-guards may have to be in place in order for your tree house to not negatively affect your policy. For example, you may have to limit access to any ropes or ladders when an adult is not present to prevent children from using the tree house without supervision.
If you have any of these risky features installed in your home, you may want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy for your insurance. This will help cover your liability in case an injury occurs on any of these items. For further information about your options, contact services like East Tennessee Mutual Insurance.